Babes Ride Out

Artist Series | Sarah Reddish

Artist Series, People, Roll CallAnya Violet

My name is Sarah Reddish, owner and sole employee of Arrow Art Studio. I started creating chalkboard signage while bartending, and thanks to freakishly neat handwriting and ever changing beer taps I got pretty decent at it. I took on side projects for friends while still working in the restaurant industry, traveling to and living in cities across North America. 

Eventually I decided to put down roots in Northern California and started Arrow Art Studio in Oakland in 2013. Initially, I accepted every job that came my way, from corporate murals to Save The Dates to restaurant menus. Now based in Napa, Arrow Art Studio has evolved to focus on custom wedding signage such as hand lettered welcome signs, signature drink menus, ceremony backdrops, table numbers, and lots of hashtag boards. I especially love working with less traditional materials and have been lettering on plexiglass, mirrors, butcher paper, and leather hides in addition to chalkboards.

Everything I make is done by hand without the aid of computers, stencils, or projectors. With limited formal training in art, each project is a challenge that pushes me outside of my comfort zone. It’s almost more about problem solving than anything – I have my inspiration and my constraints and I’m continually figuring out how to braid the two together. Then I try to make it look nice. 

I grew up around motorcycles and am guilty by association. Coming in at under five feet tall, I’ve never found a bike that was small enough for me to handle without looking ridiculous. So the best I’ve been able to do is log lots of hours staring at the back of someone else’s helmet. My dad had a ‘47 HD Knucklehead and some Yamahas and Suzukis from the 70’s. My brother is the proud owner of some 30 motorcycles in various states of repair, and living in Napa I have the pleasure of riding through vineyards with my main squeeze on his ‘78 KZ650.

I’ve been listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Someday Never Comes” and thinking how killer that phrase would look on a helmet.  I think that embracing the present, the now, is inevitable when you’re on two wheels and that’s a big part of what makes it so exhilarating. Then I spent a hefty amount of time with a Pen-touch gold paint pen working on the mandala design.  I looked at vintage Indian wood block stamps and Marty Noble’s “Mehndi Designs” for pattern inspiration and tried to apply everything I learned at a recent Intro to Lettering Workshop I took at New Bohemia Signs in San Francisco. 

Seeing as I can’t ride with you, contributing this helmet art has been a rad way to show my support. I’ve been crushing on B.R.O. for a couple of years via Instagram and it’s great to finally have a way to be involved. I love that you’ve created a community that honors womanhood, the open road, and adventure.